Past Event

Designing Fertility

Presented by PITH


Sat 27 May 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Sold out


Booking required


Seating available

Designing Fertility is an event that explores pregnancy, fertility and procreation in a changing world.

Since time immemorial, women have sought to design fertility, pregnancy and birthing practices using foods, herbs, teas and poisons. In today’s world, we are still changing procreation and birth through technology, design and policy.

This event looks at traditional and contemporary ways in which pregnancy, birth and the postpartum experience have been designed by the human hand. We invite you to a critical tasting of fertility foods and abortifacients across history and geography. Over a series of drinks and snacks you will hear short talks, with speakers presenting their research and creative work spanning design, activism and birth support.

Human procreation has always been designed. Join us for a dive into the cultures and politics of birth.

Note – drinks/snacks may include meat, gluten, eggs, dairy and nuts.


Ruth De Souza

Ruth De Souza is a nurse, academic, consultant and community-engaged researcher. De Souza is an Honorary Adjunct Professor in the Faculty of Health and Environmental Sciences – Te Are Hauora A Putaiao at Auckland University of Technology. She hosts and produces the podcast, Birthing Justice.

Naomi Stead

Naomi Stead is a Professor in the School of Architecture and Urban Design at RMIT University where she is also Director of the Design and Creative Practice research platform. She is committed to research-based advocacy in the areas of gender equity and work-related wellbeing in creative workplaces, and ways in which creative practice and education can respond to the climate and biodiversity crisis. She is a Board Member of Open House Melbourne, and is widely published as a critic and commentator. She is the architecture critic for The Saturday Paper

Lynnelle Moran

Lynnelle Moran is a midwife in a Midwifery Group Practice, providing continuing of midwifery-led care to families in both the hospital and the home She is passionate about providing care that reflects individual hopes, cultures and personal history. Moran lectures in midwifery and is currently undertaking a PhD exploring the importance of relationships and community building in midwifery.

Vaughne Geary

Vaughne Geary and Jessica Prescott are the founders of Mma Goodness and are experienced postpartum doulas. Geary and Prescott recently co-authored the book ‘Life After Birth’ which aims to prepare women for the weeks, months and years following childbirth.

Hari Pliambas

Hari Pliambas is director at Lyons Architecture where she has introduced the mentorship program and a new parental leave policy. Pliambas is actively involved in Parlour, a research-baed advocacy organisation working to improve gender equity in architecture and the built environment professions.

Jessica Friedmann

Jessica Friedmann is a writer and editor living in rural New South Wales. Her debut book, ’Things That Helped’ describes her experience with postpartum depression and the cultural and social touchpoint of maternal mental illness. In the book, Friedmann writes about the “complicated business of starting out in family life while feeling overwhelmed – something that happens to everyone who has a baby.”


PITH is a reading and eating group that explores the intersection of food, culture and politics. PITH was founded in 2019 by Jana Perkovic and Emily Wong. We savour the issues of our time through the edible, using the meal as a method for provoking discussion.


With contributions by Stiliyana Minkovska, Helen Runting, Daisy Noyes and Alison Croggon.

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